Busy day today, so only a short entry to continue the series on biodiversity of the Pacific Northwest.
All of these species have previously been featured on Botany Photo of the Day, so I invite you to see those write-ups: Cypripedium parviflorum (yellow lady’s slipper), Cypripedium montanum (mountain lady’s slipper), and Cypripedium passerinum (sparrow’s egg lady’s slipper). I thought this might be a comprehensive posting of the species of Cypripedium in British Columbia, but the E-Flora BC page for Cypripedium montanum makes mention of a naturally-occurring hybrid between Cypripedium montanum and Cypripedium parviflorum which I’ve never seen (and there is also the small matter of the two varieties of yellow lady’s slipper occurring in the province, variety makasin and variety pubescens). Still, it’s a reasonable visual representation of the diversity of Cypripedium in the province.
A small story on the Cypripedium passerinum: I was hoping to see this species during my recent trip to Pink Mountain in northeastern BC, but the locale I knew for it was an additional 6 hours of driving one way (i.e., too much). So, researching locations along the way to Pink Mountain via the UBC Herbarium‘s database, I discovered two collection records from the 1960s in locations we’d be traveling by. Looking for these populations of plants along the way, we found the first with only two plants remaining and the other with a healthy population of plants in the dozens. There’s more to the story about using old herbarium records to find plants fifty years later, but I’ll be writing it up for the Native Plant Society of BC’s newsletter, Menziesia — I’ll see if I can make a copy of the article available on the botanical garden web site once it’s written.
E-Flora BC has a page on the orchids of British Columbia, with additional resources.